I’m single. I’m not writing that in desperation or ingratitude for the season I’m in, although that certainly hasn’t always been the case. And I realize others reading this may not be in the same stage of life. But the lessons I’ve learned in this waiting period are probably applicable to anybody, regardless of their relationship status.
For years, I’ve been praying for God to bring “the one” into my life. Sometimes it’s been easy to wait, sometimes it’s been heartbreaking. I’ve been through the mind games of thinking I haven’t done enough to earn it, that I need to be better, that I haven’t prayed earnestly enough — the typical thoughts we start to have when our prayers aren’t answered when we expect.
Lately, when I’ve opened my soul to God in vulnerability, telling him of my struggle, He keeps telling me one, semi-frustrating word. Soon. Now, I don’t know about you, but when I hear soon from God, my mind immediately starts planning a potential timeline and trajectory of what should happen, how and when. I have to force myself to stop and say, “I trust You, God,” and that’s not always easy.
But when I was recently praying about my future, God reminded me of a beautiful promise He had given me a couple years ago. In my focus on what I didn’t have, I had forgotten what God had given me — an assuring promise. More than that promise, though, I felt God’s peace flood my soul and I felt the intimacy of His Spirit surround me. This, above all else, is the relationship I should crave. The relationship with my Savior who loves me in my victories and in my struggles.
Minutes later, I picked up my Bible and opened to the latest Scripture I’ve been memorizing in Jeremiah:
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT)
The heat will come — the sweltering doubts, the intense longing, the thoughts of wasted time, the fear of unanswered prayers. And long droughts will come, when it feels like we’ve been wandering in a wilderness, waiting and waiting for our promise.
Even in those moments of uncertainty when the world around us seems less than perfect, we can still receive our nourishment and hope from the Lord in whom we’re planted. We don’t need to be affected by what’s going on around us; we can still thrive in the Lord.
Even in the waiting, we should still be healthy, producing fruit. Our waiting in an external drought doesn’t mean we should be spiritually barren.
“May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation — the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ — for this will bring much glory and praise to God.” Philippians 1:11 (NLT)
God knows the season of life we’re each in. He knows the nourishment we need and the fruit we can produce. In our periods of waiting, we can still exhibit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22). We can still disciple others. We can still encourage, teach, pray and testify.
Maybe you’ve been praying and waiting for something. A financial blessing, a healing, an unsaved loved one, a living situation, a new job. Maybe you feel increasingly depleted, drained by the external circumstances that keep beating you down.
Remember that you are a tree firmly planted in the living water of Jesus Christ and you can still produce fruit in the waiting.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in my name He may give you.” John 15:16 (NKJV)